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Mercury 5

by NASA

Topics Mercury 5, NASA


The Mercury-Atlas 5 mission.

The audio posted here was recovered directly from a reel of tape found in the Mercury Control Center by Gene Kranz. This tape was extremely brittle, broken and missing oxide in several places, and required very careful reconstruction.

MISSION INFORMATION:
MA-5

Mercury Atlas 5
Pad 14
Atlas

Crew:
Enos the chimp

Payload:
Spacecraft No. 9, Launch Vehicle 93-D

Mission Objective:
Primate test of Environmental Control System in Orbit

Launch:
November 29, 1961, Cape Canaveral, FL

Orbit:
Altitude: 147.4 apogee by 99.5 perigee statute miles
Orbits: 2
Period: 88min 26 sec
Duration: 0 Days, 3 hours, 20 min, 59 seconds
Distance: 50,892 statute miles

Landing:
11/29/61, 3 hours and 22min after launch. The capsule was spotted by a P5M search airplane at an altitude of 5000 ft. Ships Stormes and Compton were contacted and they moved into position from a distance of 30 miles away. The "Stormes" arived in the area 1 hour and 15 minutes after landing and hauled the capsule aboard via its lanyard, cracking the onboard window.
Enos, the orbiting chimpanzee fared well. He withstood a peak of 6.8g during booster-engine acceleration and 7.6g with the rush of the sustainer engine.

Mission Highlights:
Enos, the orbiting chimpanzee fared well. He withstood a peak of 6.8g during booster-engine acceleration and 7.6g with the rush of the sustainer engine. A metal chip in a fuel supply line caused a problem with the attitude control system, disabling the clockwise roll thrusters. This caused the spacecraft to drift 30 degrees from its normal attitude at which point the automatic stabilization and control system brought the spacecraft back each time to its normal attitude. This process caused an extra pound of fuel to be burned each orbit.
On the second orbit, suit circuit temperature rose from 65 to 80 degrees, indicating a freezing condition in the heat exchanger. Temperatures rose to 100.5 degrees before stabilizing. Dr. Christopher Kraft decided to shorten the flight and bring Enos back after the 2nd orbit.
Spacecraft partial success, Launch vehicle successful. Weightless 3 hours 4min 38 sec

Digitized, archived and cataloged by the Houston Audio Control Room, at the NASA Johnson Space Center.



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